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UND WOMEN'S HOCKEY: UND advances with overtime win over Bemidji State

UND's captain Michelle Karvinen scoops up a rebound in front of the Bemidji State net in the second game of of a best of three WCHA playoff series Saturday in Grand Forks. JOHN STENNES/GRAND FORKS HERALD1 / 3
North Dakota goalie Shelby Amsley-Benzie makes a glove save with her eyes closed against Bemidji in the second game of a WCHA best of three playoff series Saturday in Grand Forks. JOHN STENNES/GRAND FORKS HERALD2 / 3
UND goalie Shelby Amsley-Benzie makes a kick save in front of a screen by Bemidji State's Whitney Wivoda in WCHA playoff action Saturday in Grand Forks. JOHN STENNES/GRAND FORKS HERALD3 / 3

That was the lesson UND learned Saturday night in its 3-2 overtime win against Bemidji State at Ralph Engelstad Arena — a victory that advances North Dakota to the upcoming WCHA Final Face-Off in Bemidji.

Meghan Dufault’s goal at 9:47 of overtime advanced North Dakota to another weekend of hockey.

The sophomore from Winnipeg was in the right place at the right time as she backhanded a rebound past Bemidji goalie Brittni Mowat for the game-winner.

“It was just a tap-in,” said Dufault.

UND won the best-of-three series 2-0 and will take some momentum into the upcoming final four. UND came into the weekend on a four-game losing streak before downing the Beavers 4-1 on Friday night.

This time of the season, wins are difficult to get, said UND coach Brian Idalski.

And Bemidji State has been one team that has given UND fits.

“There is no easy sledding,” said Idalski. “All games will be close this time of the season. That’s a great experience for our club.

Bemidji made a couple of adjustments from (Friday) night. They made it a point to get four, five players back. They way Serty (Steve Sertich) coaches, Bemidji will never be an easy out. They defend well. They block shots. They’re opportunistic.”

Bemidji, behind goals from Whitney Wivoda and Lauren Miller, held a 2-1 lead after two periods.

But UND got the equalizer at 13:45 of the final period on Halli Krzyzaniak’s goal.

The power-play goal came when Krzyzaniak’s wrister from the blue line slipped into the net.

In the overtime, UND seemed to carry much of the play. But the Beavers outshot UND 6-5 in the extra session.

UND opened the scoring on Samantha Hanson’s goal at 11:42 of the first. But Bemidji responded quickly, tying the game on Wivoda’s goal at 12:40.

Miller’s goal at 12:02 of the second made it 2-1 and it came on the power play.

“But we knew we could come back,” said Dufault.

Dufault’s game-winner came after Josefine Jakobsen’s shot from the slot was stopped by Mowat. Dufault, however, crashed  the net for the rebound and scored her 11th goal of the season.

UND played its last game of the season at REA. But the team didn’t leave the ice until it honored senior Michelle Karvinen, who starred for Team Finland in the Sochi Olympic games last month.

Wayne Nelson
Nelson is the sports editor of the Herald
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